If you have been recently diagnosed with a diseased or damaged cornea, or have severe keratoconus you can get a better understanding of your medical condition from the text that follows. If you are seeking a cornea transplant in Denver, Hines Sight can help put you on the road to better vision. This website text below is for informative purposes only. For further informing regarding corneal problems please consult Hines Sight.
Understanding the cornea
The cornea represents the very front surface of the eye or the outer surface of the eye. The cornea plays a major role in how you focus on images. In conjunction with your natural crystalline lens, the cornea helps to provide 70% of your eye's focusing power. If the cornea becomes weak or damaged, serious problems may arise. Because the cornea is such an important part of your visual system, please make sure to contact a qualified ophthalmologist if you think you might have damaged your cornea. It is not uncommon for our office to see and treat damaged corneas. Treating the cornea with medication is typically the first thing that the doctors will try. If your vision cannot be accurately corrected with medication, eyeglasses, contact lenses, or a corneal transplant may be required.
What is a corneal transplant?
A corneal transplant is used when vision is lost because the cornea has been damaged by disease or traumatic injury, and there are no other viable options. During the cornea transplant (also commonly referred to as keratoplasty), a patient’s diseased or damaged cornea tissue is actually surgically replaced with the cornea from a human eye of a recently deceased person. The corneas used in these surgeries will come from eye banks that store and collect corneas for this very purpose. Cornea Transplant surgery is painless due to the administration of a local anesthetic at the beginning of the procedure. Some patients may be given general anesthesia, particularly if their overall medical condition is in question. During the corneal transplant surgery, the diseased or damaged cornea is carefully removed from the eye. The new donor cornea is then sewn into place. Most pain medicine should be able to control any residual pain during the recovery period. Recovering from a corneal transplant may take some time. It is certainly not as easy as recovering from LASIK eye surgery in Denver. The stitches will remain in the eye for six to twelve months after the surgery. Eye drops will have to be used while the stitches are in place to assure proper healing and low doses of steroid eye drops are often prescribed on a permanent basis to prevent rejection.
How does damage to the cornea occur?
Damage to the cornea may arise from various reasons such hereditary issues, chemical burns, blunt object trauma, viruses or bacteria. Conditions that may require a patient seek a cornea transplant involve, clouding of the cornea, keratoconus, fuchs dystrophy, irregular corneal surface tissue growths, or corneal swelling.
Talking with your eye doctor regarding corneal transplants!
If you and your eye doctor determine that a corneal transplant is required you will need to make sure to contact an eye bank. The doctors at Hines Sight are happy to assist with making these arrangements and guiding you through this process. You will want to make sure that the cornea that will be used is as safe as possible and that eye bank has done the required testing. Eye banks will test for hepatitis virus and AIDS.
Did you know?
United States ophthalmologists perform more than 40,000 corneal transplants each year. (National Eye Institute)